105k capacity crowd remains possible for Dutch GP

Dutch GP sporting director Jan Lammers is optimistic of Zandvoort being filled to capacity upon its return for 2021.

The event was set to make its comeback last season at a redesigned Zandvoort which incorporated banking into several key corners, but since no fans would have been able to attend, the 2020 Dutch Grand Prix was cancelled.

Key to it returning in 2021 remains the presence of fans, and with social distancing and mask wearing expecting to be ditched from September 1 in Netherlands, that creates the opportunity for a capacity crowd of 105,000 fans for each day of the Dutch Grand Prix.

And Motorsport.com report that this is what Lammers is targeting, though the end of social distancing would be key with the Dutch Grand Prix taking place between September 3-5.

“It’s going in a positive direction very quickly, but that in itself is not so strange, everyone knows now how to act with the virus around,” Lammers explained.

“And then you have the people who’ve already had corona and those who have already been vaccinated.

“If you take all of those things together, you already have a certain amount of spectators who are safe from getting the virus from someone else anyway.

“We don’t have a clear idea of how big those numbers are at the moment, but it’s looking good and that’s nice.”

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There is of course a Dutchman currently on top of the Drivers’ Championship in the form of Max Verstappen, and if that was still the case come the Dutch Grand Prix, then Lammers believes that the spectacle could not get any bigger than that.

“Just imagine if that’s still the case by the time we have the Dutch Grand Prix – how beautiful do you want to have it?” he said.

“Formula 1 back at Zandvoort with a Dutchman on the grid who regularly wins races and is also leading the standings. If you would have told someone that five or six years ago, they would have said you were crazy!”

But to ensure that the event does indeed go ahead, Zandvoort needs two months’ notice that a large crowd is possible, otherwise like last season a Dutch Grand Prix would no longer be worthwhile financially.

“We need two months to get everything logistically in order. That’s more or less our deadline, to be able to put up all the temporary grandstands and things like that,” Lammers confirmed.

“But what is happening now [with Covid cases] is the result of all the positive things that have already happened in the past few months, if not in the past year. And we can all be proud of that.

“We have seen that days like the King’s Day [national holiday] have not worsened the figures. And that is a wonderful sign. That means that the trend will continue, perhaps even faster than we are hoping for.”

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